Can't find time to eat your vegetables? Chelsea Dye wants you to consider drinking them.
The healthy living maven has been touting the benefits of fresh juice for years, ever since her father was diagnosed with cancer.
"I started researching allopathic ways to supplement his treatments," says Dye, the proprietor of the newly-opened Savannah Squeeze. "And it all kept coming back to living foods."
She began experimenting with stuffing as much celery, carrots, apples and beets that would fit in a home juicer, encouraging her dad to sip them as he went through chemo. The combination of traditional and alternative approaches worked, and he made a full recovery. By then, Dye was already hooked on what she calls the "rejuvenating and uplifting" properties of fresh juice.
According health enthusiasts and fitness gurus (including Jack LaLanne, who lived to be 96) juicing—yes, it's a verb—is an excellent way to ingest a massive amount of nutrients. Many claim regular juicing can prevent and heal disease, and documented effects include increased energy, weight loss and improved skin elasticity.
For Dye, it has become a reliable way to look and feel her best. The longtime yoga devotee continued to hone her recipes for family and friends, blending greens with fresh fruits and adding spices, and now offers them from her midtown storefront in the former Pub 29.
Located smack in the middle of Savannah's traditional medical community, Savannah Squeeze offers a variety of cold-pressed juices sold in 16-ounce bottles for $8.50 each. That may sound steep, but Dye reminds that each bottle contains up to three pounds of fresh, organic produce, far more veggies than any person could ingest in one sitting.
"I call it a nutrient infusion," says Dye, who uses a hydraulic press to extract the most possible nutrition.
So far, the most popular seller has been the Carrot Squeeze, a sweet blend of carrots, apple and pineapple with a splash of lime. It's followed closely by Sweet Green, a veritable salad of romaine, cucumber, kale, spinach and apple with a lemon-ginger finish. The dairy-free cashew milk, spiced with Dye's signature blend, is also a favorite. Smoothies and a raw food menu are in the works.
A vegan who figures she eats about 85 percent raw, the bright-eyed, energetic Dye has also developed a series of juice cleanses. She refers to the one-to-three day programs as "feasts" rather than fasts, recommending six to eight bottles of prepared juice per day.
"It's not deprivational. It's a great way to give your digestive system a break and flush toxins from the system," she explains.
"The idea is that if your body is not digesting food for a little while, it frees up energy to heal other things."
Savannah Squeeze has quickly established a following among the local health-conscious community.
"The nutrition and taste is just superior," attests longtime Healthy Savannah volunteer Paula Kreissler, who has already stopped by several times.
"I'll definitely be back weekly."
Is the rest of Savannah ready for a juice revolution? Dye is prepared for business to be "slow and steady" at first, but anticipates that interest will continue to grow.
"I think people can be won over," she predicts.
"People are looking to make healthier lives for themselves and their families."